Why Your COIs Don’t Refer Back to You

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

It’s that time of the year where we reassess relationships, segment our client activity and take a look at where we want to spend our energy in 2022. This year, the topic of centers of influence (COIs) has come up quite a bit.

We have 12 COIs across our team of four advisors to whom we regularly refer new opportunities. All are either attorneys or accountants and all are very competent at what they do. We’ve not had any problems with the referrals we’ve made and in fact clients often compliment us on the relationships we’ve developed and share their satisfaction with the work.

When we discussed the COIs last week, we shared frustrations around the lack of a reciprocal relationship in most cases (except one who refers quite often to us). We know these COIs and we’ve sent them new opportunities on a regular basis, but we don’t see any referrals come back to us.

Is this something you recommend we confront with the COI? One of our team members suggested we create an Excel spreadsheet showing the revenue we have generated for each COI and the amount we’ve received in return – which will be a big zero for 11 of the 12 relationships. Is this too dramatic? Is there a better way to understand why we are not being chosen for their clients’ needs for planning and investing?